Sadly, I have suspected for quite a few years that the world has entirely lost its sense of humour, and it was confirmed this week.
An apparent non-non-binary Benedict Cumberbatch
I was reading one of the furious flood of online news articles screaming in outrage about a scene in the new Zoolander 2 movie.
No, correct that, a scene in the trailer of the new Zoolander 2 movie. So people are taking umbrage at a movie that hasn’t even been released yet.
FFS world, lighten up.
Apparently some (and our emphasise some) of our LGBT friends and outraged kindred spirits supposedly acting on their behalf are frothing at the mouth that the new film is sexist and transphobic. Really? The pitchforks and flaming torches are being aimed at a ten second scene involving Benedict Cumberbatch playing an apparent androgynous-looking model being asked if he has a hot dog or a bun.
That’s it. You’re losing your mind and clambering to the moral high ground over that? Seriously?
In another article, some earnest and no doubt well-meaning type was rabbiting on that a non-binary model should have been cast to play the Cumberbatch role. I have no idea what “non-binary” means. Is it algebra? (I was probably in the sick bay feigning death when they taught that bit at school)
As I said, all this is over a ten second scene in a movie nobody has seen. The Champagne corks would be popping in the Paramount Pictures marketing towers thanks to the gazillion dollars in free publicity. There are even petitions to ban the film. Now that’s hilarious.
It’s been a fairly shit year. The heartbreaking plight of refugees fleeing the Middle East and Africa resulting in dead children washing up on beaches, commercial planes being blown out of the sky, ISIS goons throwing people off buildings because of their sexual preference, a Sydney police accountant being shot in the back of the head by a fifteen year old as he left work, not to mention the recent events in Paris that killed 130 people whose only crime was going out on a Friday night.
We could do with a laugh. If Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Benedict Cumberbatch can provide a few in a light comedy, offending a few easily-offended in the process, then so be it.
As a kid, I was brought up on a healthy diet of comedy — English imports like Monty Python, Dave Allen, The Goon Show, Fawlty Towers, Derek and Clive, and brilliant Australian productions including The Naked Vicar Show, Paul Hogan, Blankety Blanks, The D-Generation, Doug Mulray, Andrew Denton etc, etc. Yes a lot of it was crass, immature, challenging, totally politically incorrect and simultaneously f*cking hilarious. Maybe they have all affected my moral compass Bermuda Triangle style, but I doubt it.
What happened? When did we lose our sense of humour? When was a jihad waged on satire and comedy?
Today people want to be outraged. They want to be angry and vent on Twitter and Facebook and violently hammer the keyboard creating cranky online petitions.
All of this is totally fine. You just need to make sure you’re angry and outraged over the important stuff, not a ten second bit in a movie trailer.
©Steve Williams 2015